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, in living rooms around the world. we needed to be together. to show that we are together. and united. we gather in such a moment of heartbreak all of us here in newtown. we gather especially mindful of family and friends and neighbors among us. who have lost loved ones by an act of unfathomable violence and destruction. would gather to grieve together, to care for one another, to weep and to remember, and to declare in our many voices that the darkest days of our community shall not be the final word heard from ross. -- heard from us. we will care for one another with our love and our compassion. in those early hours of the crisis, it became clear to we clergy and faith leaders here in newtown that an initial community response would be needed, that we would need to come together. and so we asked our first select woman and superintendent if it might be possible for the clergy to gather the community here at newtown high school, to continue and to begin what will be for many along journey through grief and loss. we are not here to ignore our differences or diminish our core beliefs, which
iota of the courage those teachers, that principal in newtown summoned on friday -- if cooperation and common sense prevail -- then i'm convinced we can make a sensible, intelligent way to make the united states of america a safer, stronger place for our children to learn and to grow. thank you. and now i'm going to let the vice president go and i'm going to take a few questions. and i will start with ben feller. >> thank you, mr. president. i'd like to ask you about the other serious issue consuming this town right now, the fiscal cliff. >> right. >> haven't you betrayed some of the voters who supported you in the election by changing your positions on who should get a tax increase and by including social security benefits now in this mix? and more broadly, there seems to be a deepening sense that negotiations aren't going very well right now. can you give us a candid update? are we likely to go over the cliff? >> well, first of all, there's no reason why we should. remember what i said during the campaign. i thought that it was important for us to reduce our deficit in a balanced
over this community and the united states of america. [applause] >> on behalf of the newtown clergy association we are so grateful to our president for spending time was and for reminding us that we are not alone in this time of tragedy, that there is not just a country standing behind us, that there is a world standing behind us. those words as difficult as they were to hear for some brought consolation to some. i want to thank the government officials who have been by our side since day one. they have reminded us of their humanity and care for us. i want to thank an incredible select woman who has led us through the most dark periods of our lives. [applause] when storms of the past years ravished our community for power for days i thought those were the hardest. when i saw her friday in front of sandy hook school. i knew she had met the darkest days. pat, to you and to dr. robinson, we thank you for being leaders to us through these difficult times. and now this final part of our prayer is for us, the people of newtown. >> these are the words of the apostle paul as he writes to th
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